This year I was once again lucky enough to be asked to attend the Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic, held September 11-13 in Washington Park. This year’s event proved itself to be a significant increase over last year, with an additional day of tasting and events on Sunday as well as more things to seek out throughout the weekend. I was immensely satisfied with this year’s event. Last year felt like a wonderful local event with a lot of potential. This year they went a long way toward meeting that potential. The Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic felt much bigger and more vibrant this year, and I was thrilled to see our city producing something that seems destined to grow into a nationally recognized event.
It is Sunday afternoon and I am slowly coming down from the food high that I have been riding since Friday evening. I think I can safely say that the first Cincinnati Food and Wine Classic was a solid success with plenty of room to grow in the future. The event took place Friday evening and all day Saturday in Washington Park, with a few surrounding restaurants playing host to various after parties. I was lucky enough to attend both days with a VIP media badge and here are some of the highlights.
Having attended a few cocktail conferences this past year I can safely say that food and drink conferences are my favorite kind of events. So of course I am over the moon about the Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic that is coming September 12-13th. A weekend of getting to know amazing chefs, learning about food and wine trends in Cincinnati and around the world, and grand tastings every night? Yes please!! I am especially excited about the Four Bourbons, Four Ways being hosted by Molly Wellmann. Tickets are on sale now and are selling fast so get yours today. Here is their official press release with all the important info.
Cincinnati Food & Wine Classic Tickets On Sale Now
First Local Celebration to Offer Grand Tastings, Demos, Competitions, Seminars and After-Parties
Cincinnati, OH – Tickets for the first-annual Cincinnati Food & Wine Classic in Washington Park from September 12-13 are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased at www.cincinnatifoodandwineclassic.com.
“This is a two-day epicurean event designed to capture the energy and enthusiasm of Cincinnati’s dynamic food scene,” says Courtney Tsitouris, co-founder of the Classic. “We’re showcasing local culinary talent and ingredients alongside nationally recognized chefs, wine and spirit experts, beer connoisseurs, authors, journalists, and network personalities.”
The Classic will include two completely different grand tastings on Friday and Saturday evening. Friday celebrates Cincinnati’s “Porkopolis” heritage with Pork Chopped, a competition judged by Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appétit, Keith Pandolfi of Saveur, and Top Chef Masters judge Francis Lam.
Saturday’s grand tasting will celebrate Cincinnati’s finest dining. Culinary demonstrations, wine and spirit seminars, panel discussions, chef competitions, book signings, and a Rising Star brunch take place Saturday morning and afternoon; and five individually themed VIP after-parties at downtown venues will cap off both evenings. A portion of proceeds will go to the Freestore Foodbank, the event’s non-profit partner.
“The word is out,” says Donna Covrett, co-founder and executive director with Tsitouris. “We have a vibrant food, wine, and brewing community that’s getting noticed by others. We’ve piqued the interest of publications such as Food & Wine, New York Times, USA Today, Travel & Leisure, and more as a beautiful city with a quirky-cool community of creative, talented, artisans of all sorts. It’s something to be proud of, explored, and shared.”
Local and national talent has already been confirmed for the event. Names include (but are not limited to):
Jean-Robert De Cavel + Daniel Wright + Michael Paley + Paul Sturkey + Julie Francis + Nate Appleman + Megan Ketover + Jonathon Sawyer + Keith Pandolfi + Jose Salazar + Tony Ferrari + Edward Lee + Todd Kelly + Stephen Williams + David Falk + Anne Kearney + Andrew Knowlton + Francis Lam + Elias Leisring + Nick Marckwald + Jeremy Lieb + Owen Maass + Levon Wallace + David Cook + Cristian Pietoso + Anthony Lamas + Joy Wilson + Jimmy Gibson + Stella Parks + Joel Molloy + Charles Redmond + Rom Wells + Ned Elliot + Anita Hirsch + Mark Bodenstein + Hideki Harada + Michael Worth + Ryan Santos + Kyle Johnson + Paul Barraco + Jim Cornwell + Pat Lafrieda + Vic Vegas
Tickets are priced as follows:
- Grand Tasting Pass ($125): Friday Grand Tasting or Saturday Grand Tasting
- Saturday Savor Pass ($190): Saturday Grand Tasting and 20+ Saturday Educational Experiences (culinary demos, wine and spirit seminars, panel discussions, competitions, and book signings)
- Weekend Revel Pass ($290) Friday Grand Tasting, Saturday Grand Tasting, and 20+ Saturday Educational Experiences
- VIP Pass ($390): Friday Grand Tasting, Saturday Grand Tasting, 20+ Saturday Educational Experiences with priority seating, exclusive VIP lounge, VIP swag bag, and admission into one VIP after party
For more information about scheduled talent, event programming, and ticket purchases, visit www.cincinnatifoodandwineclassic.com.
About Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic
Founded in 2014 by Donna Covrett and Courtney Tsitouris, the Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic is a celebration of Cincinnati’s Porkopolis and fine dining heritage as a longstanding destination for Midwest food, beer and spirit excellence. The inaugural event, located at the doorstep of Music Hall in the historic Washington Park, features local, regional and national chefs showcasing local flavors through tastings, demos, seminars, and parties across the city. For a complete look at what’s in store, visit http://www.cincinnatifoodandwineclassic.com, or follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #CFWC14
It is the annual dilemma we all face at this time of year. What to do for New Year’s Eve? I have already decided to opt out and will be celebrating at home with children and a bottle of Blason de Bourgogne that I picked up at Trader Joe’s but if you are still looking for a fun way to ring in the new year here are a few classy events that I would love to be attending this year.
I was invited to this event by the sous chef at Maribell’s. I was surprised to learn that NYE is her favorite night to work and after she explained why I can believe it. It sounds like a night with a great atmosphere and I’ve always enjoyed the food I’ve had at Maribell’s. In addition, I can vouch for them having some of the nicest staff and a great bar menu to boot. For New Year’s Eve they are doing a four course meal featuring locally sourced ingredients for a bargain price of $55. Call 513.321.9111 for reservations.
Another event for the foodies here. Since it is located on the somewhat unfashionable side of Over the Rhine, The Symphony Hotel remains something of a hidden treasure in Cincinnati but they are working to get their name known. I had a stunningly good brunch there a few months ago, so I have kept an eye on them ever since. For New Year’s Eve you can enjoy a five course meal that includes a champagne toast at midnight for $65. To make dinner reservations, call 513-721-3353.
Happy Tuesday…And NYE!
For those of you who would rather celebrate the end of the year with beer than champagne, The Brew Professor has put together a nice list of beer-related New Year’s Eve events but my personal pick goes to Madtree. Those boys just know how to have fun, I love their beer, and any event that features Hall and Oates is an automatic win. Taste 513 will be serving food such as pork belly tacos, bulgogi slammers, and PsycHOPathy mac-n-cheese. A no cover and relaxed alternative to the high pressure events at other locations.
Arnold’s is a great place to enjoy a drink any day of the year and when you add some old school creole/cajun jazz by the Hot Magnolias it is down right awesome. I caught them playing Arnold’s a few weeks ago and it was magical. Make reservations at 513-421-6234. There is a $10.00 cover to be in courtyard but it includes music, party favors, and a toast and snacks at midnight. Even if you miss it NYE, be sure to check out Hot Magnolias next time they are playing in the courtyard. You won’t regret it.
As usual Japp’s and Neon’s are cover-free for their New Year’s Eve events. I recommend starting out there and then winding your way down to Fountain Square for the big count down at midnight. There will be food and drink vendors on the square and ice skating is free starting at 8 pm. That way you can get a head start on your New Year’s resolution to exercise more while at the same time enjoying your last night of guilt-free indulgence. But if that doesn’t sound special enough you can add a VIP package from Via Vite to get dinner, two drinks, champagne, and most importantly, a heated tent.